Your Resume Part 3 – Outcomes Matter

If I only have 15 to 30 seconds to scan your resume to see if I want to read further, the first thing I’m going to look for is what you’ve achieved for your previous employers. In the business world, outcomes matter.

Writing about your own employment history in the context of business outcomes you’ve achieved (as opposed to tasks you were assigned) will make your resume stand out. When I review applications, it’s always a breath of fresh air when I come across a resume that highlight outcomes instead of tasks.

Think about it this way. If you are hiring someone to help your own business, would you rather have someone who is task-oriented or outcome-oriented.

Even the most ideal task-oriented employee only focuses on the tasks they’ve been assigned, completes them to the best of their ability and then ask for their next task assignments.

On the other hand, an ideal outcome-oriented employee understands the goals of the company, and plans and executes the sequence of tasks required to achieve the desired outcomes to achieve these goals.

Here’s an example of a task-oriented description in a resume.

Barista, Starbucks 2017-2018

  • Diligently took customer orders and made coffee drinks to specifications;
  • Experienced with the point of sales (POS) system and servicing members of the public.
  • Managed incoming inventory and store displays;

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to a Starbucks. I already know what a Barista does. The above description doesn’t tell me anything about the applicant other than what’s on the first line (i.e., they worked at a Starbucks). Moreover, it tells me the applicant is task-oriented and likely didn’t give much conscious thought to the business outcomes her employer (Starbucks) was trying to achieve. Specifically, Starbucks wants their customers to have an premium experience and not just a drink. They know that’s what keeps their customers coming back in spite of the fact that their prices are higher.

An outcome-oriented statement in the same resume would be much more effective as follows.

Barista, Starbucks 2017-2018

  • Provided excellent service by fully engaging with customers to successfully achieve Starbuck’s mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit;
  • Consistently increased sales by offering specials and promotions as add-ons items.

The above statements tell me that the applicant was continuously conscious of her employer’s desired outcomes while making coffee, managing the cash register, receiving inventory and stocking shelves.

Here’s another example.

Designer, XYZ Company 2016-present

  • Major duties were to design all kinds of print media items like brochures, annual reports, logos, ads, flyers, folders, backdrops, packaging design, banners, Invitations cards and business cards.

Similar to the above, if the hiring managers have heard of XYZ company, they probably have a good idea that a Designer there would design “all kinds of” print media. It is much more effective to utilize the same space to provide the business outcomes of a few projects. For example:

Designer, XYZ Company 2016-present

  • Designed and developed print brochure and flyers for ABC company which were distributed in their 500+ retail locations across the country;
  • Produced online ads and in-store signage for ACME company resulting in increased customer engagement of 17% during 6-month campaign.

As much as possible, try to use specific, quantifiable outcomes. In my experience, not many resumes are written this way. Doing so will make yours stand out.

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